Halloween is bigger than ever and celebrating it gets more popular every year in the UK. It’s still not quite reached the heights here that it has in the US but it looks to be heading that way. In retail terms, it’s second only to Christmas for the amount of money spent. One estimate says that children consume over 3,000 extra calories as a result of trick or treating, with plenty of parents enjoying bingeing on sweets and chocolate too.
Dressing up, holding a party and trick or treating can all be great fun but it’s wise not to let the sugar consumption get too out of hand. Too much sugar is bad for us all in many ways – not least because of the damage it does to our teeth. It’s probably unrealistic to expect children to go without Halloween sweets altogether but it’s worth setting out a few ground rules from the start and providing some good alternatives to the sugar rush.
Make sure your children realise that sweets are a treat rather than a meal substitute! Why not challenge them to see how many days they can make their stash of sweets last by having just a couple of sweets at the end of their dinner? It may be useful too to encourage them to see that there’s more to Halloween than sweets. Helping make a cool costume and creating some ‘spooktacular’ decorations can be lots of fun as well, while pumpkin carving and apple bobbing competitions are enjoyable for every age group. When it comes to a Halloween-themed feast, you can find some great ideas online for Halloween savoury snacks that don’t involve sugar.
Most importantly, make sure that in all the spooky excitement, no one forgets to brush their teeth, thoroughly for two minutes twice a day with a fluoride toothpaste. Have fun!